Wish Upon Antarctica

Have you ever wished upon a falling star? Stars, both fixed and falling, appear time and again in our stories and folklore. In fact, many of the meteors that head for earth have landed in the Antarctic, where the white expanse of ice makes them much easier to find than if they landed anywhere else. This poem is about the meteorite hunters who head out into the frozen expanse of the Antarctic Plateau each season in order to collect information about the history of our universe… 

Once upon Gondwanaland
Where glossopteris grew and dinosaurs roamed
Your wish-upon-a star was born

Or rather, became visible to the naked eye
As the gentle rhythm of day and night
Rocked loose the plates so far below

Southward bound, as we are today
They travelled to the edge of place
And the longest day, where time stood still

All wishes here are put on ice
And Peter Pan grows wrinkles too
From squinting at the frozen glare

And making out the leaves that freeze
Their memory into ancient stones
Alongside ores that don’t belong.

***

Once upon Antarctica
Where ice sheets groan and scientists roam
Your wish-upon-a star was found

Still stars rain down from far above
Scarring the ice with blackened heat
As interlopers on this white plateau

Traverse the ice to find a sign
About the universe’s once-upon-a-time
In rocks that lie so far from home.

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